It’s been a busy few weeks and we know everyone is excitedly getting geared up for the holidays.

As promised, we’ve been keeping an eye on the ever changing landscape of important issues affecting you and your businesses. See highlights below.

Congress came to a pandemic relief bill over the weekend and it looks similar to what we reported to you late last week. The US Chamber is hosting a meeting tomorrow (see the invitation below) to discuss the impact the pandemic bill could have on small business. The Oregon Department of Employment is seeking feedback on Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance.

  • Congress struck a deal on a stimulus package over the weekend. Here are some of the highlights:
    • The final pandemic relief package, $900B, has been agreed upon and will be voted on sometime today in the House and later tonight in the Senate.
    • It has additional PPP funding that will terminate March 31, 2021. The bill expands allowable uses for PPP funds and simplifies the loan process for loans under $150,000. Second loans would be limited to those with fewer than 300 employees and drops of at least 25% of their revenue during the first, second or third quarter of 2020. It also reduces the amount a borrower can receive from $10M to $2M.
    • Employers deferring workers’ payroll taxes under the Trump Administration executive order now have until the end of 2021 to pay back the withholding taxes owed.
    • There is $12B set aside for minority owned businesses, and expands eligibility to more non-profits, local newspapers, TV and radio broadcasters.
    • The bill creates a $15B grant program for live venues, theaters and museums that have lost at least 25% of revenues.
    • Establishes $300 per week supplemental jobless benefit, for 11 weeks from the end of December through March 14. It also extends two other unemployment programs: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program. Both programs would close to new applicant on March 14 but continue through April 5 for existing claimants.
    • Establishes $600 direct stimulus payment to most Americans and will begin arriving in bank accounts next week. Eligible families will receive an additional $600 per child. Payments start phasing out for individuals with adjusted gross income of more than $75,000 and those making more than $99,000 would not receive anything. Income thresholds are doubled for couples.
    • Includes a new round of funding for subsidies for hard-hit businesses and restaurants.
    • Funding of $82B for schools and colleges, $27B for transportation and $22B for health related expenses of state, local, tribal and territorial government.
    • Extends the moratorium on evictions to January 31, 2021, with $25B in rental assistance for individuals who lost their sources of income during the pandemic.
    • The bill is over 5,000 pages long (the longest bill ever), the next longest being the 2,847 page tax reform bill of 1986.

Chamber members are invited to join this call hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce, TOMORROW, December 22, 2020: Pandemic Relief Small Business Update – Please join U.S. Chamber executive vice president and chief policy officer Neil Bradley and CO— content director Jeanette Mulvey December 22, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. ET / 12:00 pm MT / 11:00 am PT / 10:00 am Alaska for a Small Business Update to hear the latest about what the pandemic relief bill could mean for the small business community.  Click here to register now.

The Oregon Department of Employment is seeking feedback from the business community on Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance proposed draft administrative rules. You can read the rules here and submit feedback. Some of the rules are time sensitive and responses must be submitted by December 31. Please take some time, if you can, to read through the draft administrative rules and submit comments. These rules could impact your business. For example, the rules define bonuses, fees, and prizes as wages and therefore subject to PFMLI contribution, and gifts are not defined as wages, therefore are not subject to PFMLI. Also note that comments submitted require a name, organization name, become part of the official record and may be made available to the public. You can sign up for updates on the administrative rules here.

OHA has added a vaccine information page to their website.

USDA has extended the foreclosure and eviction moratorium for single family housing direct loans. For more information, please visit the USDA Rural Development site:

Oregon State Chamber of Commerce has developed a strong message to the Governor and the Oregon Legislature: “Local businesses need to be made whole, and they need to be able to re-open for business now.” You can read the entire message, sign up for alerts and send a message to your legislator here:

Wishing you all the best this holiday season. If we can be of assistance to you please do let us know.